tv Morning Joe MSNBC January 11, 2013 3:00am-6:00am PST
well, at the top of the show we asked you to send in your signatures, if you dared. any winners? >> yeah, we got a few. let's see if you can guess their names. i think they're pretty clear. >> that's not bad. we have kathy. looked like she was taught penmanship by nuns in the 50s. okay job. what's next? yeah, mr. z. or is that g? one more. anyone can recognize this one? >> mike barnacle. >> you know, he's supposed to live under the bridge in central park and he has that neat of a signature? totally ruins the image. the last one i wanted to do, everyone wanted to know what pretty boy donny's signature looked like. boom. donny. not horrible, i guess.
great sho great show, everyone. "morning joe" starts right now. the iphone just turned 6 years old. the iphone has -- the iphone's become, like, a child to us. a child we accidentally drop in the toy lel from tiilet from ti. six years ago the app was something you ate at chili's. now graduations, the births of our children, even at funerals now. so anyway, happy sixth birthday, iphone. you don't look a day over 4s. >> good morning. it's friday, january 11th. can you believe it's friday? >> well, it's a wonderful day. friday's always great when it's on a friday. >> welcome to "morning joe." with us on set, we have msnbc contributor mike barnicle. i thought you were going to try
and get out early. >> i was. >> yeah? >> i was. but here i am. the good news never ends. >> i'm not sure how that happened. usually you just leave. msnbc political an vis and vice president and executive editor of msnbc.com, richard wolffe is with us. hello, richard. >> good morning. >> how are you? and we have the chairman of deutsche incorporated. >> now you perked up. now it just happened. >> are you serious? really? did you just say that? >> there was a whole body language thing that happened. or it was just some bad tacos from last night. >> right. it was definitely not body language for you, donny. oh, my god! wow! wow! >> great stuff. >> have you seen -- just+++1dt
>> what's the latest on his knee? >> well, it was a major operation. it was a reconstruction of his knee, but dr. andrews indicated that he was hopeful that he would be able to participate in the 2013 season. we'll see. i don't know. >> if you're not hopeful as a surgeon, why are you a surgeon? >> that's true. that's true. >> you're probably an undertaker. >> andrea? >> we are hoping, they say best case, six to eight months. i think that's a little optimist optimistic, but this is a very tough guy. one can just hope. obviously, this was not what anyone would have wanted. and some bad choices were made. >> andrea, are they calling for shanahan's head in washington? can this guy even show his face anywhere? >> it's been pretty rough, and i think it's beginning to quiet
down just a little bit. i think it's still very, very tough on the coach. and a lot of people are quest n questioning why rg3 put himself in that position. he kept him in, but obviously the coach is in charge and should have figured it out. >> let's get to the news now because i think that was sports news, which we'll save for later. the white house task force that's examining ways to reduce gun violence is set to deliver a list of proposals to the president by tuesday. vice president joe biden who has been meeting this week with groups from different sides of the gun-control debate offered a glimpse of what might be in store. >> there is a surprising -- so far -- a surprising recurrence of suggestions that we have universal background checks. not just close the gun show loophole but total universal background checks including private sales. there's also a good deal of talk
about gun safety and what responsibility goes along with gun ownership. i've never quite heard as much talk about the need to do something about high-capacity magazines. as i've heard spontaneously from every group that we've met with so far. there is nothing that has pricked the consciousness of the american people. there is nothing that has gone to the heart of the matter more than the visual image people have of little 6-year-old kids riddled -- not shot with a stray bullet -- riddled, riddled with bullet holes in their classroom. and i think we can do a great deal without in any way imposing on or impinging on the rights of the second amendment. >> seems to make sense. biden met yesterday with representatives of the national
rifle association which has added 100,000 new members since the shooting in newtown, connecticut. from the gun lobby's perspective, the meeting did little to bridge differences on the issue. >> it wasn't so much an open-ended, it was a polite but not a real conversation. it was two sides stating their positions. and then leaving. so the administration was able to check the box and say they had talked to the representatives of firearms owners and the groups that support the second amendment, and now they were going to try to proceed with what they wanted to do. >> okay. m mark mckinnon says the gun issue is damaging the republican party, and he writes, in part, this. "as a republican, i think it's yet another instance where the party, by refusing to recognize reality, is going to end up looking like the stupid party that fails to adapt and evolve to changing circumstances in our society. on issues where the physics are
moving irrevocably forward like immigration, gay rights, and guns, the republican party continues to look backward, and backyard is a sure path toward irrelevance. i've heard you use the word "the stupid party" before. i know mark mckinnon with no labels is trying to forge a new path from both sides of the aisle. having said that, isn't that your concern about the party as well? >> i think it's fascinating what he said there. what do you think, donny, about the party's brand? >> pretty clear. pretty clear. they've just got to figure out that the definition first of a brand is a values system, is what you stand for. they can stay true to their values, your value, of being conservative. the classic definition of conservative without looking like idiots, without looking like they're still living in another century. >> so is the key to have, like, a core mission -- my brand is this.
i do this as whether i sell coke or whether i sell, you know, running shoes, it's kind of like if nike decided that they were going to get into high fashion. that's outside their brand. so do you have a core mission and then the brand? >> yes. >> so for republicans, it would be like small government. >> rugged individualism. rugged individualism. >> less taxes. >> less government, power to the individual. that does not mean that the brand attributes of that are gun magazines with 30 clips in them. extremist, irrelevant views that do not sink in with an evolving demographic. they are an outdated brand. >> "the washington post" editorial board writes that biden gun task force must not overreach, warning, in part, the white house can show leadership on the related issues of mental health and of violence in entertainment and video games, but the urgency of action and the deep polarization of our politics means the
administration should choose its legislative priorities carefully, aiming for those with broad public support and a reasonable chance of approval. as mr. biden vowed the other day, "we are not going to get caught up in the notion that unless we can do everything, we're going to do nothing, it's critically important that we act." and andrea mitchell, i'm just wondering, is there a worry? because everybody -- talk to chris christie, i've heard from both sides of the aisle, from those who do believe there needs to be legislation out of what happened in newtown, that it needs to be threefold, basically. and we know what the three issues are, not just guns, but is there a concern that it will be weighted down in three issues that people will then lock heads over and nothing will get done, or is this different? >> i think the concern is real, and it should be a deep concern because what joe biden telegraphed yesterday and what the white house is signaling is that they don't think they can do the assault weapon ban, and they're not going to try. they're going to deal with the
magazines. they're going to talk about background checks, but they're going to try for something that they think is possible and reach as broad a possible coalition. and that means that the assault weapon isolation that dianne feinstein has been pushing and you have similar legislation in the house, the white house does not think that it can achieve that. >> what do you think, joe? >> it's all about counting votes at the end of the day. richard wolffe, do they have the votes? >> it depends for what, they'ri? the politics is just too difficult for everyone in congress. democrats have to do something meaningful. republicans have to move off of what has been basically a no position on any type of gun measures. you know, you've got such an emotional weight. i know everyone says, well, it's all fading. i don't believe that for a minute. these families are organized. you've got mayor bloomberg's organization behind as well. very powerful tigsi inadvertisi.
this is going to be front and center as it happens right now. i think saying no or not doing enough, whatever the enough is defined as, is not acceptable. so they've got to find the votes for something, something beyond just beating up the media, right? that's the easy thing, to blame it on movies and oh, it's all, you know, music we don't particularly listen to. and so yeah, i think there has to be some measures about these high-capacity ammunition and firearms. but beyond that, the background check thing, i think, is really interesting. if you look at what public perceptions are of gun laws, they do not match up to the reality. people think there are far more background checks going on than actually take place. and when you have that mismatch, that's where you can actually do stuff in terms of politics. >> so what do you think, mika? do you think what happened in december, on december 14th, has staying ability to break through to even the hardest hearts in washington? >> i feel like we're going to
see, between now and the next four years from now, the republican party struggle for a new voice and new leaders and new faces. and either some of them have got to get out of the way, because they don't make sense anymore and they're not in the mainstream and they're not connected with reality, or they're not going to win again. >> to that point, joe, i want to ask you a question. maybe i'm missing something, if i was running some guy's campaign, if i was running, save half a dozen states, some crazy pure red states, if i'm running some guy's campaign, i say to a republican today, guess what? here's the ticket to winning. move over. chris christie, look at him. bobby jindal, look at him. that's the new republican path to winning. so i don't get the formula that oh, if you start to loosen on guns, if you start to loosen on immigration, that all of a sudden you're going to lose elections. i see that as the ticket to winning elections today. >> mike, the followed the power of the gun lobby for a long time.
can somebody do that? can a republican do that? >> i think a republican can do almost anything on universal background checks. universal background checks is the key. that's the first step. get that in there. almost -- you'd almost want to say, the vice president's task force would almost want to say, okay, next thursday in the house, we're going to have a vote on universal background checks. that's the steppingstone to get us to some sensible position. how can anyone, with any common sense, no matter where you are in the ideological spectrum, be against universal background checks? >> and by the way, i've seen some polls, like 85% of americans want universal background checks. >> yeah. >> by a republican pollster. 85% want universal background checks which would go a long way in getting rid of some of the insanity that we see at gun shows and online where there are no background checks. >> i thought it was interesting that david keene goes to see the
vice president and represents the nra rather than wayne lapierre who i think cost the nra a huge, huge percentage of people who support the nra, obviously. but universal background checks gets the door open, and maybe then you can get high-capacity magazines. >> 75% want that also. so i keep missing the political minefield of why a republican can't move on guns. i'm not seeing it. i look at the numbers. >> look at the 100,000 new members of the nra, literally, now, of all times? it's a pretty deep division, andrea mitchell. >> and i have seen no sign, even though they very smartly did keep wayne lapierre out of the white house meeting, i don't see any sign that the nra is ready to give on the background checks, even, which they ought to. but they have not conceded anything. they feel really empowered, as mika just pointed out, the rise in members, they say rise in money, but it isn't their
grass-roots membership that really matters, it's the clout they have in washington. they feel really empowered by this, and guns are leaping off the shelves even as the vice president was sitting down with a series of people yesterday. remember what happened at taft high school near bakersfield, california, where it was a student apparently with a shotgun he had gotten from his brother, illegal gun, and injured another student, one student critically. the armed guard at that high school was not on duty because, by all reports, he was stuck in snow and couldn't get in. and there wasn't a replacement. >> the question to ask -- >> perfect storm. >> -- it's just a terrible tragedy that happened out there as well, but here's a good time to ask the question, what if that shooter had a bushmaster -- >> exactly. >> -- instead of a shotgun? >> i thought that, yeah. >> how many people would be killed. how many people would be dead today, would be talking about another newtown.
>> that's the issue. >> and that's the america that some of these members of congress want where they are bound by special interest groups, extremists and survivalists. if they really believe they need the survivalist vote, they really need to -- the only way they can win and get re-elected is by having the vote in support of people who believe the federal government is coming to kill them and seize their property in 2013, then that is a party that's headed towards extinction. it just is. and mark mckinnon was absolutely right. peggy noonan wrote did it this morning in her "wall street journal" column. this party is going to have to start choosing its fights more wisely, richard. if we decide that we're going to fight universal background checks so gang members can go to gun shows and get assault weapons. >> right. >> if we're going to fight all
these basic, common-sense gun safety measures that most of americans support, then we are a republican party that's headed towards extinction. and all the screamers and all the squawkers on talk radio who are going to scream and squawk because they want -- >> fire them up. >> they want to fire up. a very small base. they need a very, very small group of people to be successful and drive ad sales for gold bullion compared to a republican presidential candidate that has to get 270 electoral votes. >> or even a statewide candidate. you know, there is a framework for this. you know, the republican party has traditionally prided itself in being the party of personal responsibility. there is a personal responsibility frame for these kind of measures. >> that's turning the brand, staying true to their brand value, but turning it. exactly. >> which is to say responsible gun ownership means it's okay to say yeah, i'm qualified to have a gun because i'm sane. you know, undergoing background
checks, these aren't greater regulations, in fact, they're lesser regulations than you need to own a car. >> by the way, can we just break through the b.s. here? this is not for the nra about second amendment rights. justice scalia clearly laid out in heller what second amendment rights were and what they were not. the most conservative justice on the supreme court, an tone scalia, made it very clear, assault weapons were not protected by the second amendment. this is not about protecting the second amendment. this is about gun manufacturers making millions and millions and millions of dollars. this is about retailers making millions and millions and millions of dollars. do you know how much money these people have made over the slaughter of 20 innocents in newtown? do you know how much richer these rich gun manufacturers have gotten over the past month and how the nra uses that
tragedy to gin up fears and websites use that tragedy to gin up fears that they're coming to take your guns away? hey, got a message for you. they can't take your guns away. we've got something called the second amendment to the constitution of the united states. anthony scalia in 2009 said they can't come and take your guns away. you can have a handgun to protect your family. but outside of that, they can regulate guns. and if you're a survivalist and you really believe the federal government is coming to kill you and your children, if that's your view in 2013, your paranoid, sick, twisted view, good luck getting the republicans to jump in your pickup truck and drive off the cliff towards political oblivion. that's what's going to happen. wake up. >> that group of people. then there's the towns and cities that are the home base to gun manufacturers. if you look at colt firearms outside hartford, connecticut,
the state voted against -- or actually put off a vote on a certain inscription on the gun so they can track them better because colt threatened to leave. money. >> to that point and to joe's point, gun profits are largely what this is about more than regulation. >> it's money. >> sure. it's gun profits. >> the nra is about money. >> but a derivative of it in terms of a strategy to develop, to get the vote for, you know, universal background checks, i would suggest that the phrase "gun control" be dropped and "gun sense" be used in going forward with a strategy. gun sense. >> guess what? this isn't gun control. >> no. the word "regulate" is in the second amendment. >> the big lie that the nra is pushing on gun owners to try to whip stupid people into a frenzy is they're coming to take your guns away. i say stupid people because you have to be stupid in 2013 to believe that the federal
government can come and take your handguns or shotguns. you have to be stupid. the law of the land is they cannot -- there is a constitutional right that the second amendment says what i always believed the second amendment said, and richard wolffe, in 2009, scalia said it. you have got a right to keep and bear arms. not a musket, a handgun. >> right. >> or a shotgun in your house to protect yourself. >> and candidate obama and president obama said yes, i agree. >> can we also change -- >> what are we talking about here? >> what we're talking about is a lobbying group in washington, d.c., that wants to continue to help people they represent make tens of millions of dollars. and if they have to lie to the american people every day and say they're coming to take your guns, they'll do it. >> i want to rebrand that it's not gun control, it's assault weapon control. that takes the argument away. let's even change the discussion. >> you know, they're liars. when they say that they're going to take all of your guns, if
they start with these assault weapons that were used to destroy the lives of these 20 6 and 7-year-old gaem families a their community, they're lying. they're lying to their membership. there are certain news organizations -- and here's a warning -- there's certain news organizations, there were certain websites, there were certain newspapers that lied to their viewers and their listeners and their followers throughout 2012. and anybody that dared to tell the truth like myself about how mitt romney was going to lose, how the republicans were on the wrong track, got viciously attacked. and guess what? after they were proven to be lying to their followers, whether on tv or on the web, they paid a price for it. and the nra, richard wolffe, if they continue lying to their
membership, they're going to pay a big price for it because they're going to run off, the 90% of nra members, that are members of the nra because they want a right to protect their family. they want a right to go hunting. they want all those rights that people who supported me wanted. not the survivalists who believe that the black helicopters are coming at dawn to eat their chickens and take away their wives. >> chickens. where did you hear that? coming up, "new york times" -- >> i think i've said it. there's nothing more you can say. >> i think that's something i want, joe. >> eat their chickens, take away their wives and then put tin foil hats on their children so they can follow their thought patterns over the next decade. coming up, "new york times'" columnist gail collins, eugene robinson and moderator of "meet the press," david gregory. up next, mike allen with the top stories in the "politico
playbook." first bill karins with a check on the forecast. >> the weekend forecast, good morning, stormy weather to meet you this friday morning. if you're in the ohio valley, grab the umbrella. the weekend weather pattern, we're watching winter returning in a big way to the west. and that's going to sweep slowly across the midwest this weekend. big changes for you in chicago. for the east coast, though, you stay mild. let me break it down. again, the rain heading for detroit, cleveland, columbus, cincinnati, it's going to pour about a half hour from now. it's beginning to exit indianapolis and louisville. in the west, winter storm warnings, salt lake city, billings, all the way through northern portions of the midwest including much of the dakotas. we actually have blizzard warnings in effect north of fargo. be prepared. if you're traveling in the northern plains, kind of some dangerous weather there with this storm system cutting across. your weekend forecast, late-day showers, new york to d.c. lots of clouds. but what a beautiful saturday up and down the eastern seaboard. some areas approaching near record highs. for those football games, the denver game on saturday, it will
be very cold. and in foxboro on sunday, no problems at all. unusually warm with temperatures in the 50s. no big storms over the weekend, but it will get a lot colder for our friends in the midwest. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. when you have diabetes... your doctor will say get smart about your weight. i tried weight loss plans... but their shakes aren't always made for people with diabetes. that's why there's glucerna hunger smart shakes. they have carb steady, with carbs that digest slowly to help minimize blood sugar spikes. and they have six grams of sugars. with fifteen grams of protein to help manage hunger... look who's getting smart about her weight. [ male announcer ] glucerna hunger smart. a smart way to help manage hunger and diabetes.
27 past the hour. time now to take a look at the "morning papers." "the washington post." the cia has started off 2013 by using drones to bomb taliban targets in pakistan on 7 of the last 10 days. analysts say the uptick in air attacks is a move to weaken the taliban's hold on the region ahead of coalition troop withdrawals in 2014. and "the washington post," the pentagon is preparing for a worst-case scenario in which lawmakers failed to make its march 1st deadline on the budget deal. that would mean deep,
across-the-board cuts including $500 million less for the defense department. leon panetta says it would be a huge setback for national security. "the wall street journal," american express is set to cut 5,400 jobs. the company will slash 8.5% of its staff, mostly from its travel division which has lost business in the advent of internet travel sites. this weekend's "parade" magazine, it's the savings issue. inside, a guide to saving $10,000 this year. >> did you hear that? you can save money. >> that's a good investment because that "parade" doesn't cost that much. so you can save. that's kind of a no-brainer. >> there you go. >> makes perfect sense to me. with us now, let's bring in chief white house correspondent for "politico" here with the morning playbook. you guys have a fascinating story regarding charles schumer. it seems that chuck schumer is the key to chuck hagel's failure or success. tell us why.
>> that's right. and first we have to do happy friday. >> happy friday. >> happy friday. >> boy, do we need that. >> and this is a surprise. senator schumer has been telling his allies in new york, especially jewish groups, that would be, quote, very hard, very hard for him to support chuck hagel for pentagon head because of his positions on israel the other day. the real canary in the coal mine on the trouble that the hagel nomination has faced was on "meet the press" several weaks ago when senator schumer surprisingly wouldn't commit to supporting him. and usually when the president has a nominee, favorite nominee, a name out there, the number three democrat in the senate, chuck schumer, is going to say sure, i'll support him. he said he's going to listen for the hearings. and that's where he still is. just wednesday at a private breakfast at park avenue winter, one of those fancy restaurants up there, senator schumer was saying that he was very uneasy
about senator hagel's positions on israel over the years and that a lot would depend on what he says in his confirmation hearing about israel. we're hearing now those confirmation hearings, the end of the month, maybe even january 31st. >> andrea mitchell, couldn't the president take care of this fairly quickly by calling chuck schumer and chuck hagel into the oval office and saying, chuck, this is where i am on israel. you know i'm going to support israel. and chuck hagel, where are you on -- i mean, you could set this up fairly easily so a democratic senator was not going to be the one to embarrass a democratic president. >> it's interesting that they are relying on the white house team not on a special team that they're bringing in for this confirmation process, although chuck hagel does have a lot of supporters in the retired military and foreign policy, you're going to hear colin powell on "meet the press" on sunday. we've got people coming on the show today, tom ridge and others, who support him. but at the same time, it's interestingly the israeli
officials believe that he will be confirmed. and they are not that concerned about the u.s./israeli relationship because they think that it will be harder for him as pentagon chief to go against israeli interests. he will not be as tough on israel as someone else might be because of this background. the white house thinks that his vietnam record is going to be the trump card. when you read -- in "politico" yesterday, mike, "politico" had the most detail yet about what he and his brother did in vietnam and how he volunteered. he was told he was going to germany, and he stood up and said no, i want to go to vietnam. and they brought in a psychiatrist, we're told. according to "politico's" own recording, a psychiatrist and others and a chaplain to try to talk him out of it and see whether he was serious. for three hours they counseled him before they let him go to vietnam as he wanted to. >> wow. >> and that's why this personal story which is going to be featured coming up leading into the hearings, we're going to
hear more and more people out, helping tell senator hagel's story. he's not going to talk about the confirmation hearings. and also these visits to capitol hill which hurt susan rice so badly. the white house believes they'll have the opposite effect for senator hagel, that is he meets with senator schumer and others as they're reminded of this personal story that these other issues will fade away. >> you know, i mean, what he did for mitch mcconnell's entire - extended family, according to john heilemann. >> poor heilmann. >> i've got to ask, what was mitch mcconnell's grandma doing in saigon at the time during the tete offense? >> she went to see her son. >> and then he saved them all, according to john heilemann. >> in one fell swoop. >> exactly. >> i'd love to talk to one of these republicans one day who is against hagel, a guy who fought a war, a guy who's got shrapnel
in his chest, who understands. >> those are the same guys i was talking about at the top of the hour. >> i know chuck and i like him very much. chuck's got really short elbows. you know, it's not -- and i've had some republican senators tell me, it's not the way he voted or how he -- you know, he seemed to enjoy giving us an elbow in the back just a little too much. chuck, again, i'm pulling for chuck. i have from day one. he doesn't have clean hands in this. you know, he was for iraq. and then when he was against iraq, oh, boy, he was really against iraq. he became a moral rue sacrusade against iraq and left a lot of republican senators saying it's fine you switched positions. we understand, the war is not going well, but please don't be that self-righteous. just to explain the -- >> except i -- how sharp are his
elbows compared to mitch mcconnell or john boehner? >> mitch mcconnell -- >> or eric cantor? >> is majority leader because he knows how to play in the sandbox with others. >> he does? >> of course. there's an art to it. i wasn't especially good at that art. so i'm not judging chuck hagel. mike, we've got another question on the tea party. let me go to andrea here. it is, andrea, in a legislative body, a special art. you've got to put yourself second, and you've got to put the party first. and chuck hagel was not good at doing that, and he's an individualist. and sometimes he really went out of his way to offend fellow senators. and they haven't forgotten. >> they haven't forgotten. the one senator, fellow senator, that he got along really well with was named barack obama. and that's why he is in the
position he's in today, in both ways. he's the nominee because of his close friendship with obama, and he's also not that well loved by -- or well liked, even, by former colleagues. but i think mike allen is absolutely right. we sat there on the set on "meet the press" that day. when chuck schumer said he'd wait and see, that was a deep intake of breath all around the table. >> all right. mike allen, really quickly, the state of the tea party, another piece you have in "politico." >> yeah, they're out of money and even more disorganized than ever. and ironically, if the party take candidates are going to be rescued, it's by the big super pacs in washington. the koch brothers, other washington groups that are now going to be more intervening in primaries. it used to be republicans would keep hands off primaries, but more and more we're going to see washington playing, including the conservative tea party-type groups of trying to avoid some of the disastrous senate
candidates like they had this year. >> mike allen, have a wonderful wooeb e weekend. thank you very much. up next, only eight teams remain. we'll have a preview of this weekend's nfl divisional playoffs. that's next in sports. [ male announcer ] this is joe woods' first day of work. and his new boss told him two things -- cook what you love, and save your money. joe doesn't know it yet, but he'll work his way up from busser to waiter to chef before opening a restaurant specializing in fish and game from the great northwest. he'll start investing early, he'll find some good people to help guide him, and he'll set money aside from his first day of work to his last, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade.
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here we go. >> that's a beautiful shot there, mika. >> gorgeous. bill karins back now with sports. all right, bill. >> backyard. >> my backyard? >> yeah. >> i wish. i wish i had a sailboat out there in the water. i wish donny would take me someday. >> oh, lord, that's awkward. keep going. just move on. >> let's play a little game here. this quarterback, all-time record at home, 33-5, the number one seed in the nfc, and they're only a one-point favorite at home this weekend. matt ryan. >> they've got to win playoff games. >> isn't that pretty incredible? he's 33-5, but he's 0-3 in the playoffs. him and mike smith have never won a playoff game. you tell me what you think's going to happen. only eight teams remain in the hunt for the lombardi trophy. the winner of the super bowl gets that. the two afc teams are eight or nine-point favorites, should easily win at home. peyton manning at home, number one seed hosting the ravens. will that be ray lewis's last
game? followed by an entertaining game in san francisco, aaron rodgers and the best defense against the 49ers. then to sunday, rookie russell wilson, the only rookie left, with the seahawks traveling to atlanta, as i mentioned, they're the number one seed. the late game has the texans trying to do the impossible. they got blasted by tom brady a couple weeks ago. they're back in foxboro to take on the patriots. so let's start with the games on saturday. let's go with the broncos. any chance they lose to the ravens? >> broncos. broncos win. >> easy, right? >> not easy. not easy. >> broncos win the super bowl, yes, they will win. >> no. >> yes, they do. 49ers aren't getting past green bay. >> andrea, what do you got on saturday? >> i've got with peyton manning. >> the easy one. three-point favorite. we've got the 49ers against the packers. who you got in that one? aaron rodgers or defense? >> aaron rodgers. >> on the road. he's done it before, he can do it again. what do you guys think?
>> i love aaron rodgers, but i've got to go with the 49ers. >> we're giving mika extra time to think about this. >> thank you. i need that special help. >> it's not special. it's the expert insight we're just waiting for at the end. >> uh-huh. >> andrea, also d.c., the players union, they're going to decide if they want to investigate rg3's knee injury and if they want any actions taken against the coach, the team or possibly the league. what do you think's going to happen? >> i'm not sure. they are going to decide today, they say. they want more answers about fedex field, the field conditions and decisions on rg3. they may take action there. doctors already talked to the teams. >> andrea, what is the very shy dan snider said to this point about the whole thing? >> he has not talked about it. he's been leaving this up to the coaching -- let's face it. dan snider has not -- and i know him pretty well -- he has not been out front this whole season. or less. since shanahan came to washington, he's really been leaving it up to the people who are running the team, bruce
allen and mike shanahan. >> now the big issue, and he remains quiet. college basketball highlights from last night. willie's vanderbilt taking on kentucky, usually their biggest game of the season, at home. the big rookie, the freshman sensation, was in a shot clock violation? look at the bottom right, the clock, the ball in his hands, clearly at zero. they were up three at the time. this put them up five with only 17 seconds left. if it was a shot clock violation, vandy would have had a chance to tie the game. it wasn't even reviewed. after they called time-out, they went on to lose by two. >> it was a kentucky home game. >> stop it. bill karins, you're quite good. coming up next, the "must-read opinion pages." you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. >> she said "quite."
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♪ oh, i hate it when that happens. yeah. definitely t.j. peggy noonan writes in "the wall street journal" for our "must-read opinion page," "it's pirate time for the gop. republicans just lost an election. they're up against the wall. they have to figure out how to survive and thrive as a party that stands for something, while attempting each day to do the work that needs doing for a country in trouble. the challenges are huge, the odds long. they can sit back and be
depressed and whine. or they can zpid: it's pirate time. and really, it is. now is the time to fight and be fearless, to be surprising, to break out of lockstep, to be the one thing republicans aren't supposed to be, and that's interesting. now's the time to put a dagger 'tween their teeth, wave a sword, grab a rope and swing aboard the enemies' galley. and the president's issues, steal them -- they never belonged to them, they're yours! >> what issues? what issues are they going to steal? >> well, she talked about the party needing to be the party of main street instead of wall street. this president hasn't aggressively gone after wall street, even though people on wall street might complain. you know, a populist message, about breaking up the banks, about, you know, getting rid of these tax breaks that allow warren buffett to pay 14% in
taxes. if republicans aggressively supported warren buffett's idea of a 30% minimum tax rate for all americans, i think that is the type of thinking peggy's talking about. and we go back again, she talks about assault weapons. do republicans really want to be the party of newtown? do they really want to be the party of aurora? do they really want to be the party of gun shows, donny deutsch, that allows anybody to walk in virginia off the street, show a fake i.d. and get whatever guns they want? by the way, somebody says that can't happen, mika's husband, jim, did an investigation where he got a student that was shot at virginia tech, going in with an old -- an old i.d. that was expired. he left with a trunk full of guns. >> i'm going to answer your question with a question. i still don't get it because i'm in the business of marking where
you kind of do research, you see where the majority is, and then you position a product accordingly. i look at chris christie, okay? a guy who is in a blue a state as there can be. it's dark blue. he's got a 70%-plus approval rating. >> by the way, 69% approval rating among people of color. >> yes, okay. thank you. even better said. i don't get why -- where the hostage is, where the gun to the head -- horrible, horrible pun -- that republicans don't make the move. why -- who's holding them prisoner? it is very clear. the numbers say you don't have to be a hero right now to let go of some of these archaic issues and move over, particularly on assault weapons. so i don't get it. i don't get it. >> what's so frustrating to me is that by arguing these side issues, we leave the great issues on the table. the democratic senate now has
gone 1,353 days without passing a budget. harry reid has shown absolutely no courage. the united states senate has shown no courage. the president of the united states has shown no courage on entitlements. republicans finally raise taxes, which all democrats have said republicans have had to do for the past ten years and suddenly sunshine would break out all over the country, and daffodils would grow in everybody's front yard, and our fiscal crisis would be taken care of. what are democrats now talking about? we talked about raising taxes. now we're going to talk about spending cuts? no. they're talking about raising taxes again. you know what? let's not talk about spending. let's raise more taxes. mike barnicle, just as a political matter, okay? let's leave paul krugman to the side, just as a political matter, my republican party could skewer the democrats if this was the focus of their
message. they raise your taxes once, they want to raise your taxes again. washington can't spend money, but they don't do that. they're sidetracked by extremists. >> joe, erskine bowles is not a republican, but he was here yesterday describing in concise and succinct detail our fiscal plight and the fact that once you -- unless you touch entitlements, unless you go after common-sense way to deal with entitlements down the road, every penny -- every penny of every dollar the united states spends on everything else other than the entitlement programs is going to have to be borrowed. that's shocking. >> well, by the way, that happened last year. >> i know. i know. but the republican party has, by and large, let that go. just let it go. >> now is our time. that's what is so shocking to me. >> it really is. >> is the republican party in washington, d.c. -- not the republican party across the
nation where republicans control 60% of the governor's mansions across the nation and control a majority of the senate seats and control the majority of the house seats across the nation in state legislators, but the washington, d.c., party is so woefully out of touch. they don't realize that now is their time. >> look out the window. look at the country. >> now is the time. >> look in the mirror. >> you want to talk about a permanent majority? they're actually running against a party who is so outdated when it comes to spending cuts. if demographics are destiny, the destiny is in the hand of small-government conservatives. and yet republicans, this national republican party keeps destroying every opportunity. coming up, we have the moderator of "meet the press," david gregory and "the washington post's" eugene robinson joins the conversation. keep it right here on "morning joe." ♪ [ male announcer ] how do you turn an entrepreneur's dream...
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okay. andrea mitchell, thank you so much. who do you have coming up at 1:00 eastern time on msnbc? >> we've got tom ridge, senator bob casey, steve clemons, but we have the president of the united states and hamid karzai airing live at 1:00. >> sounds like an easy booking right there. andrea mitchell, thank you so much. next, "the new york times'" gail collins joins us on set.
♪ president obama will nominate his chief of staff over at the white house, jack lew, to be the next treasury secretary. >> it's going to be his signature, right, on the bottom of all our currency. it will look something like this. >> that -- that's your signature? or are you just testing to see if the pen works?
hey, lew, here's a tip. stop signing all your checks on the teacup ride at disney world. the only way that you're allowed to have that as your signature is if your name is boing! >> he does have a funny signature. welcome back to "morning joe." richard wolffe and donny deutsch are still with us. >> beautiful sunrise. >> it is beautiful. >> beautiful. >> beautiful friday morning. >> what's that in the background blinking? >> a chopper. >> another chopper. let's stay on this shot. this may get interesting. >> no. joining the table -- good lord -- "new york times" columnist gail collins. it's good to have you on board this morning. >> good to be here. it's friday. >> it is friday. >> yeah. >> nice silence. >> you know -- >> you know what alex just said
to me? >> what's that? >> let's do jack lew in a citi payout. >> president obama has nominated jack lew to replace tim get near, and criticism's already begun to resurface over lew's work at citigroup. according to his financial statement, he received $944,000. alex, did we mess up on the comma? was that $94,000? >> no, the decimal's in the right place. >> the decimal's in the right place, okay. so he received $944,518 from citigroup in 208. citi received, of course, a $45 billion federal bailout that same year. and, you know, i would be so nervous endorsing that check from a bailout company, my squiggles would be a straight line there. right there. he put that on the back of some check and got a cool million dollars. >> mm-hmm.
>> the president described his move from chief of staff to treasury as bittersweet but insisted the loss will be the nation's gain. >> over the years, he's built a reputation as a master of policy who can work with members of both parties and forge principled compromises. jack has my complete trust. i know i'm not alone in that. in the words of one former senator, having lew on your team is the equivalent of a coach of having the luxury of putting somebody in at any position and knowing he will do well. and i could not agree more. so i hope the senate will confirm him as quickly as possible. >> senator jeff sessions has accused lew of misrepresenting the effect president obama's proposals would have on the country's deficit. and yesterday on cnbc, the senator said, in part, quote, lew certainly doesn't bring the gauf taus gravitas of former new york fed chair like secretary geithner and others we've had as secretary of treasury.
>> i don't understand that. >> the premier financial position of the united states government. >> and that has gravitas, i guess, four years on the job will make you old. >> that's what they do. they just don't like it. >> so mika, what do you think about him getting about $1 million, almost $1 million in bonuses while citi was being bailed out with taxpayer dollars? >> it makes me think twice in some ways, but, you know, the sad thing is, that's a tiny bonus. >> he didn't write himself the check. >> compared to the bonuses that some have gotten. >> he's got the guy who said give me the bonus. >> excuse me? it would be a lot to you or me, but it's not compared to the bonuses we've seen on wall street and other major companies. i also think -- >> but isn't this is what we were attacking aig -- i'm following what donny just said,
it's not his fault. this is what we were attacking aig on a couple days ago, the greedy executives defeating bonuses on taxpayer dollars. >> it's not great optics. i think that if he didn't have experience running or being a part of the big business, you'd be making fun of him for not having experience. you know. >> no, i think the issue is companies should not have been allowed to give the bonuses -- >> who? >> you, or others who criticize the people in obama's cabinet for not having enough business or out there on wall street or the business community which i'm not sure is a fair criticism. but if you're working for citi, for wall street, you will receive bonuses. >> right. >> the iron you was citi being able to do it, but then the guy who got the bonus, you can't hold him accountable. >> i know. >> he was an employee there. that's ridiculous. >> do you think they should stop
giving bonuses? >> i think that year -- look, i'm a capitalist. i built a business. that year that we bailed them out, guys should have not gotten bonuses. i'm sorry. >> as a political matter, i totally agree. >> okay. >> but for the united states government to start setting pay levels for wall street -- >> not say pay levels -- >> -- very hard. >> very simple, if i'm lending a guy a buck, i have the ability to say until you pay the buck back, discretionary bonuses. >> that is setting pay levels. >> to make matters worse, i hear he took his million dollars, converted it to cash, and he put a dog holder on top of his roof and drove home and just laughing. just laughing at the cash going out the back of the dog holder. are you going to write a column on this? >> i like this idea. i've never thought about that dog on the roof thing going on there. how can you -- this ship has really sailed. it would be great if you had some really tough guy who was going to really bounce down on
the banks and make some really smashing reforms. but we've been there, and it didn't happen. and if jeff sessions is complaining about it, then it just seems like they're making this stuff up because they've got nothing else to do. they're bored. >> so the million-dollar payout doesn't -- that's not going to be -- you don't think -- >> well, the issue, i think donny was right, the issue is should anybody have been getting these payouts back then? the question of now whether this guy who got a payout among the 5 billion people we're dealing with who got payouts -- >> yeah. >> -- for something. >> you could never hire someone from the private sector. you could never hire a wall street person for that job. >> he makes a really important point. you cannot have a treasury secretary without business experience or financial experience. and all of these people attain to. >> exactly. >> tim geithner who apparently jeff sessions thinks is a great guy, he was at the fed while this stuff was going down. he was part of the clinton administration that deregulated wall street that allowed the
whole thing to go down. and yet now he's got gravitas. all of them are tainted, whether it's by bonuses or policy setting. you know, jack lew is one of the less offensive, maybe totally inoffensive thing -- the only thing people are objecting to is the signature. that tells you something. >> what do you make of, say, jeffrey sachs arguing a couple days ago that there's a problem having wall street people going to the treasury because, you know, you've got foxes guarding the henhouse? >> there are two pieces -- actually now like three or four pieces of financial regulation. treasury deals with part of it, but they also have to deal with all sorts of economic policy including maintaining confidence in the financial markets. that used to be one of the big roles that people like bob ruben were to be able to do. there are multiple roles treasury secretary has too do. it isn't just the regulatory piece of it.
yes, it's important. i'm not sure that this administration -- you talk to the president about it, he'll say, we wanted to go back and do more. the banks bounced back much more quickly than they thought, which meant that the window closed far too quickly. i think that's kind of naive. they should have struck while they could, while they were on their knees, taking those federal billions, they should have imposed more restrictions on them. that window closed and it became that much harder. >> jeffrey is a smart guy, but the smartest financial minds end up on wall street, and that's obviously somebody you need in that position. it's very simple. on to other news, the white house task force that's examining ways to reduce gun violence is set to deliver a list of proposals to the president by tuesday. vice president joe biden who has been meeting this week with groups from different sides of the gun-control debate offered a glimpse of what might be in store. >> there is a surprising -- so far -- a surprising recurrence of suggestions that we have
universal background checks. not just close the gun show loophole but total universal background checks, including private sales. there's also a good deal of talk about gun safety and what responsibility goes along with gun ownership. i've never quite heard as much talk about the need to do something about high-capacity magazines as i've heard spontaneously. from every group that we've met with so far. there is nothing that has pricked the consciousness of the american people -- there is nothing that has gone to the heart of the matter more than the visual image people have of little 6-year-old kids riddled -- not shot with a stray bullet -- riddled, riddled with bullet holes in their classroom. and i think we can do a great
deal without in any way imposing on or impinging on the rights of the second amendment. >> biden met yesterday with representatives of the national rifle association which has added 100,000 new members since the shooting in newtown, connecticut. from the gun lobbyist's perspective, the meeting did little to bridge differences on the issue. >> it wasn't so much an open-ended, it was a polite but not a real conversation. it was two sides stating their positions and then leaving. so the administration was able to check the box and say they had talked to the representatives of firearms owners, and the groups that support the second amendment, and now they were going to try to proceed with what they wanted to do. >> so gail, what did you make of the nra going to joe biden's place? >> well, that was fun. i'm sure they had a good time together. i mean, you knew what was going to happen because the nra will not talk about this issue. they just won't go there at all.
i think it's interesting that -- the high-capacity bullets, in particular, seems like there's a thing that there's a real coales coalescense about, to be able to reload. the duck thing, they want to keep the ducks. they don't want all the ducks to be shot up at once. yet you can go running around the neighborhood with one. >> remember the media -- >> me? >> yes. >> i speak for them all. >> i believe that the media is not going to let go of this. this is not going to be the cause du jour. i believe that something has stuck here and we're not, rightfully so, going to let go of this issue. >> i do think so. the reason the media kept letting go is that this overwhelming sense that nothing -- nobody but about four people in congress was willing
to even talk about this. they just kept saying -- but the president wasn't willing to talk about it. obviously now there's a different feeling. i don't know how much is actually going to get done, but the sense in the country that stuff needs to be done has transformed. it's going to be always talked about. you're right, totally. today president obama is scheduled to meet with afghan president hamid karzai at the white house. the two men are expected to focus on what role, if any, the u.s. will have in afghanistan after its troop withdrawal in 2014. last night the afghan president sat down for dinner with secretary of state hillary clinton and secretary panetta. earlier panetta spoke optimistically about the u.s. entering its final chapter of the war. >> we have poured a lot of blood and treasure in this war over the last ten years. but the fact is that we have also made a lot of problem as a result of the sacrifices that have been made. and we're not going to walk backward from what has been
accomplished. the stronger position we take in showing that we will -- we are going to continue to complete this mission, the better the chances we have to ultimately achieve political reconciliation. >> during a photo op with senate minority leader mitch mcconnell yesterday, president karzai declined to answer a question about u.s. troops in his country beyond 2014. >> mr. president, what kind of force would you like to see left in your country after 2014? thank you, everybody. thanks. >> i was told by the organizer of the senate to keep quiet. >> thank you, everybody. >> president obama and president karzai will participate in a joint news conference this afternoon. >> richard wolffe, i'm sure that's going to be the fun. here's this guy that we've kept alive for a decade. >> 13 years in power. >> and he attacks us all the time. our young men and women dying in afghanistan. and then he will talk to us in a
nasty way and talk about joining the taliban. >> you think politics in kabul are easy? >> of course not. i think it's pretty easy for us, though, to make the right decision and get the hell out of there. we should have done it four years ago. >> and he will be on the first helicopter out after the american troops leave. >> and that's the hypocrisy. they claim oh, you americans, you're over here. you know, you're occupying us. you need to leave. they're the last ones that want us to leave. they're the ones that are privately asking us to stay. >> what is the american role here? you know, we've done nation building for 13 years and counterterrorism. what is the right national security position for this country? you know, you listen to people like john mccain, and the idea is you have to continue to invest in a country because we invested all this blood and treasure for all of these years, and it would be wasted. that was the logic of vietnam as well. you can sustain trying to build a nation that many empires have tried and failed before to do so. it's not about karzai anymore. it's not actually about al
qaeda. it's not really even about the taliban. it's about pride. it's about the mistakes that have been made and the lives that have been lost. how do you best honor that? >> yeah. >> gail, stay with us, if you can. up next, a preview of "meet the press" with david gregory and "the washington post's" eugene robinson. first bill karins with a check on the forecast. >> we're having our father/son powwow. barnicle is going to control the weather maps. we're going to do the rooerever. >> i'm a high-pressure area. >> yes, you are, hothead. you have to go a little slower. we're confusing people. now we're on saturday already. let's just start with your weekend forecast. you can't go back. that's the problem. foreca as far as the middle of the nation, that's where the snowstorm is hitting today and tomorrow traveling through montana, idaho up through fargo to bismarck. major winter storm tonight into
tomorrow. then it will be exiting during the day saturday. the rest of the forecast also watch out for thunderstorms. now let's advance to sunday, one push. there we go. sunday -- pretty easy, right -- forecast for sunday looks very warm. new england could see areas approaching near record highs. 52 in boston, the middle of january. that doesn't happen, mike. that's, like, extremely rare. >> how long does it take you to draw those little white clouds? >> it's actually all automated for me. >> so you do nothing. >> absolutely. best gig in the world. not arguing. so in other words, if you're traveling today, the ohio valley is the travel trouble spot. maybe a few showers d.c. to new york, but overall amazing warmth. enjoy it. midwest, you're getting frigid this weekend. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. i've always had to keep my eye on her... but, i didn't always watch out for myself. with so much noise about health care... i tuned it all out.
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sun comes up over washington. welcome back to "morning joe." we have the moderator of "meet the press," david gregory and pulitzer prize-winning columnist and msnbc political analyst, eugene robinson. the rest of the crew all still with us. david, i'd like to start with you and get an update on where the fight over chuck hagel goes from here. we have the endorsement, of course, from colin powell as well as "politico" reporting that chuck schumer could be pivotal in this battle. >> and i think he will be, mika. i've been talking to senators on both sides of the aisle on capitol hill, and usually these are senators who have deep reservations about chuck hagel, and they usually wind up their comments by saying, look, you know, i'm hard pressed to say that he's not going to be confirmed, but the hearings are going to matter. hagel is reaching out to those particularly those senators who have raised doubts about him, who have problems with his voting record on israel or his positions on iran. don't ask, don't tell, things
like that. they're answering -- he's answering those questions, and he's going to be meeting with these senators. i think there is certainly a wing within the republican party that's not going to support him. and i think that raises a question about how effective he could be as defense secretary, particularly if he's going to be the one tasked with remaking the defense department and cutting the budget at a time when the budget demands it in the view of many but where he's going to need some republican support to do that. >> gene, what have you found in washington -- joe was talking earlier about the talk on capitol hill is that he has had some sharp elbows along the way. >> mm-hmm, yeah. >> and there's, you know, i don't know if the word "legitimate" is but there may be some critique of how well he could be in terms of effectively working with all the facets of washington, including congress. >> well, you certainly usually see -- when a former senator is nominated for a cabinet position, you usually see more of his former colleagues coming
out in sort of generous support of the nomination and the fact that so many are so reserved about it or withholding judgment does speak to his relationships up on the hill. that said, he will know how to get through a confirmation hearing. he's been that before on the other side of the dais. so i think he will answer the questions at the hearings. and in the end, i'd be surprised if enough of his former colleagues didn't get on board to confirm him. >> david, you know, one of the elements we have going on here is the composition of the senate, the composition of the congress, actually, i would submit, it has changed so drastically over the past 20, 25 years. chuck hagel is one of the few members of the senate who has actually been shot at in life, in war. and that might have something to do with his prickly nature, and
he can be prickly, i think as anyone who knows him, would admit. part of the attack on chuck hagel, especially the accusations of anti-semitism are offensive in nature in that they're thrown out there very often by unnamed people on behalf of groups. and i'm wondering what impact, if any, do you think this has on the dialogue about whether he gets defense? >> well, i think your point about his service in vietnam can trump a lot. and i think the reality is that this is not a moral test. this is not a character test. these are some policy differences. he's got differences with republicans not only on some israel votes. i think that's a narrower band of people. yes, his employment of the phrase "jewish lobby" which is certainly imprecise and may offend some, but hardly amounts in the minds of many to becoming
an antisemite. i think the more substantive areas have to do with sort of standing up to some in the republican party about unfinished business in the middle east and how tough he'd be on whether it's hamas or iran or in defense of israel. you know, look. the reality is that this president has faced a lot of questions about his stance toward israel, and yet from a security point of view, he's been by israel's side in all of the substantive ways that the israeli military cares about. and often people overlook the fact that it was the presidency of george w. bush that denied israel some of the things they wanted in terms of sophisticated packages for their own aircraft and a green light to carry out certain missions. so, you know, these things will come to light. but i think that, you know, overall this becomes an approach to a country like iran and what sort of advice does he give as
defense secretary given some of the things he said. and i think that these just become policy disputes, and they become tough questions in a hearing that don't necessarily become determinative of whether he gets the votes. >> aside from policy questions, though, about international affairs which, by the way, the secretary of defense doesn't decide, right? it's the president who's going to run foreign policy. one thing we know that president obama and chuck hagel both would like to cut spending in the pentagon, and that is a hard thing to do. because the defense lobby is extremely powerful. and i think you're going to see that -- well, before confirmation and certainly after a confirmation. they're going to push back hard. >> gail, i'm interested in the personal dynamic between some of these characters. they all were -- republicans used to be the party of mavericks. and here you've got one of the mavericks and they all apparently hate him. >> mavericks are very bad. >> how much of this do you think
is the personal rivalry? so they all say oh, a senator can get confirmed easily because we all know them, but they hate each other, don't they? >> well, some do more than others. the interesting thing what you were talking about before is that mccain and barack obama got along so well in the senate, and you can really imagine the two of them sitting there saying, these guys are so dumb. oh, my gosh. because they both -- >> talking about their frenzies. >> yeah, yeah. because they both had that sort of contempt for the other -- the institution as a whole. so you can see how that now is coming back, both in terms of his friendship with obama and also the reason the senate is sort of bristly about it. >> david, you touched on it -- and certainly not the substantive issue, as a jew, i was taken with what was anti-semitic about the term "jewish lobby"? i didn't get that. what is the argument that there is a tinge of anti-semitism in that? >> well, the idea that it's just jews who lobby on behalf of
israel when that's certainly not the case. so it's imprecise. you know, there are some jews who think, you know, it smacks of some anti-semitism. certainly all of those, you know, folks who have known chuck hagel think that's not the case at all. and even those who may not like the phrase don't have a problem with him, you know, speaking tough about an american ally, about some policies. i mean, again, this becomes a narrower argument about a certain band of republicans and democrats, but mostly republicans who would argue, hey, this is not a stalwart supporter of israel. and what are the ramifications of that in terms of policy with regard to iran or hamas or other countries that may pose a threat to israel? >> hey, gene, do you think it interesting as i think it interesting that the greatest vice president in the history of vice presidents, joe biden, is finally getting some well-deserved praise for being more than mr. malaprop, his role
as an influential, behind behind-the-scenes guy in the senate and now with the proposed gun legislation is finally lee ginning to give him a new sort of image in the minds of many people? i think it's kind of interesting that after all these years in washington, this is finally happening. >> no, it's fascinating, mike. and i think this is one of the poorly understood and poorly reported stories of obama's first term, the role that biden played particularly in dealing with the hill. now, you could say that dealings with the hill were rocky, but yes, they were rocky, and that's why you needed biden at various moments. not just moments but throughout to try to get stuff done. he has always been very important to this administration, very important to this president. there was never any question that obama wouldn't want him at his side for a second term. and i think it's great for joe biden that people are finally seeing that and he's not just
sort of the brunt of late-night jokes. now, he will be the brunt of a few more late-night jokes because he's going to say something, i'm sure, tomorrow or the next day that makes everyone cringe, but he's so smart and he's so talented. he's joe biden. >> -- obama that the ceo, the mark of a great ceo or the top three or four appointees, hillary clinton, joe biden, that's what a great ceo does. it's the people around them. >> david? >> mika, i was just going to make this historical point which is kind of ironic. it was joe biden back in 1994 who told democrats who were trying to get an assault weapons amendment into his crime bill -- >> right. >> -- that they shouldn't do that. that they were going to tank his crime bill, and they were doing all of these good things. and ultimately dianne feinstein and others prevailed in this amendment. they got the assault weapons ban through. now here he is to recommend a package of legislation where they understand they've got to be careful. they want to be more
comprehensive, less narrow. there's still a question of whether they have the stomach for the political fight that they are about to face. whether they demand action this year, whether they put some things out there, maybe get a couple bipartisan bills and keep this alive but try to get some other things done before they really focus on guns. >> and david, you have general powell on "meet the press" this sunday. >> i do. >> any other bookings ready yet? >> well, that's a big one, we're looking forward to. we'll obviously talk about the nomination of chuck hagel and also some of the big foreign policy challenges the country faces, and powell's view on the republican party right now. >> all right. eugene robinson, thank you very much. david, thank you. eugene, we'll be reading your column in "the washington post." coming up, the inside story behind washington, d.c.'s, remarkable economic transformation over the past decade. but as "the new york times" magazine explains, it's a story the rest of the country may not want to hear. that's next. keep it right here on "morning joe." here's what happened...
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oh, washington, d.c., don't we love it? look at that, capitol dome, beautiful day. one of the most untold stories, you're about to hear about it, with us now, "new york times" economic policy reporter annie lowry. annie writes about washington, d.c.'s massive growth over the past few years. "as the country witherred, washington bloomed. since 2007, the regional economy has expanded about three times as much as the overall country's. by some measures the washington area has become the richest region in the country. how washington managed this transformation, however, is not a story that the rest of the country might want to hear, because we largely financed it. as the size of the federal budget has ballooned over the past decade, more and more of that money has remained in the
district. we get about 15 cents of every procurement dollar spent by the federal government says stephen fuller, a professor of public policy at george mason university and an expert on the region. "there's great dependence there." and with dependence comes fragility. about 40% of the economy relies on federal spending." annie, about a week ago i was asked by a friend of mine, he had a question about the most affluent counties in america. and he thought that fairfield county in connecticut might be the most affluent county in america. and he asked me to go on the google -- that's what everybody said says -- the google -- >> the googled it, and two out the top five are fairfax county in northern virginia, washington, d.c., and montgomery county. i was stunned, but, thus, your piece. >> yeah, it's been a really amazing transformation that's slowly but surely by at least some measures, washington has surpassed silicon valley.
it's surpassed, you know, as you mentioned these really rich towns in connecticut. and so now the whole region is just really, really wealthy. and what's kind of funny is that it isn't sort of millionaires and billionaires dragging the average up, it's just this huge profusion of white-collar jobs that are -- i would describe them as well paid, but nobody's embarrassed about the money that they're making, which is kind of in contravention to equality that we've seen in other parts of the country. >> let's follow the money on this. there's an age-old phrase. follow the money on this. so is it the fact that the federal government, a huge employer of people in metropolitan washington, obviously, people make enough money to buy pretty good homes like in bethesda, chevy chase, arlington, alexandria and the district of columbia itself and the federal government thus is the engine that fuels this level of affluence? >> so the federal government is absolutely the tap at the middle of this that's sort of all boats
are rising from. but it's actually not federal employment. kind of what has happened is that we've built up a much bigger military and security complex. it's just been a huge profusion of federal procurement dollars. those haven't gone to federal employees, though, they've gone to contractors. and those contractors have attracted workers, have attracted other businesses. and so the whole region has essentially, you know, in part because of the war on terror, in part because of iraq and afghanistan and in part because of more generalized federal spending has become really wealthy. >> annie, gail collins, she's about five cubicles away from you -- >> hi, gail. >> -- but she's right here today. >> can i ask you, this is so interesting about washington, and it's not only washington where economic booms are being pushed by federal spending. i mean, i keep reminding people all the time that texas has a ton of federal spending, but it
tends to be mostly military, or at least a lot of it is. and then federal contracts. how much of the spending in washington is militarily driven, and how much of it is from other stuff? >> i think that the thing is that a lot of the new spending, since 2001 especially, is military. so it's going to the military. we built a whole new department in the department of homeland security. things like the cia and the, you know, just the nsa budgets have increased quite a bit. so i would describe it as defense and security as being really the heart of this, even if it isn't military precisely. but, you know, the military budget has expanded hugely. this is something that "morning joe" was talking about this morning. and it looks like those budgets are going to come down. so the article is kind of couched within this idea that kind of all the fun might be over for the washington region if we're going to see really, really big cuts, especially in this specific part are the budget. >> richard. >> annie, just to pick up on
that point, public sector job cuts have been the big drag on job growth for the last several years now. let's just assume that congress and the white house does get serious about these cuts. does that mean -- i don't know if you're arguing that washington's cool and it no longer becomes cool, but more seriously, these lower-level government jobs as well as the contractors, they're really going to go, aren't they, and their benefits as well. >> yeah, so i think the places that you're going to see the biggest cutbacks are going to be in the defense budget. and it's not clear how that's going to hit or when it's going to hit or how that's going to affect the regional economy. but it certainly means that the huge growth in sort of contracting that we've seen, especially in defense contracting, is going to slow down at some point. and then the question is how they apportion these other cuts. if we see a lot of really, really big cuts through the sequester or some other mechanism to the federal budget more generally, that could hit the d.c. region really hard.
you know, if you saw something like the nih budget cut really seriously, that would hurt in maryland, for instance, where there's a lot of companies built up around that. but if we're seeing things mo mostly like social security cuts, that's obviously going to be disbursed across the country, and so it's not going to hit d.c. in quite the way that some other cuts would. so i think it's this really big pending question. but we know that defense and security is going to take some brunt of the hit. >> hey, annie, i am in charge here of asking the single dumbest question of the day, and i've been working on this for quite some time. >> don't steal my thunder, please. >> i forgot, donny's here today. the question is this. it would appear, just from listening to you -- and i haven't read the piece yet -- but it would appear that at some level, because of the federal engine, the federal spending engine and the federal employees thus receiving paychecks, that the washington, d.c., area may have been insulated from the housing crisis of the past several years? and if so, if that is a fact or if it's partially true, what
happens to the housing market in the greater washington area if spending cuts are involved and people do get laid off? >> so it's a really, really good question. d.c. didn't experience the recession in the way that the rest of the country experienced the recession. unemployment went up here but not nearly as much as in metro regions. housing prices remain really high even if they've come down from some of their highs, you know, pre-bubble -- sorry, before the bubble burst. but i think that there is this sense that there's not going to be this huge profusion of job growth in d.c. and that's going to have a ripple effect throughout the economy. so you could see things like a rising unemployment rate. you could see things like wage cuts that kind of cut into all of the cultural flourishing that we've seen in the washington region. and yeah, you could see housing prices come down if there's less demand for it. because d.c. has kept growing through the recession.
even if unemployment climbed in some places. and it's been really amazing to watch. it's almost as if the recession never really happened here. >> hey, annie, when you said that was a really good question, did you read that off the prompter, or was that from the heart? >> that was from the heart. >> thanks. the article is in this sunday's "new york times" magazine. annie lowrey, thanks very much. >> thanks for having me. up next, best-selling novelist grajames takes us thro his book. we'll be right back. with the spark cash card from capital one, olaf gets great rewards for his small business! pizza! [ garth ] olaf's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! helium delivery. put it on my spark card! [ pop! ]
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♪ with us now is "new york times" best selling author james grippando, out with his 20th novel "blood money." jon meacham got depressed. can i depress him further? >> go ahead. >> he wasn't a nerd that said i'm going to write books one day. he was a trial lawyer. you worked for still hector. >> for 12 years -- >> wow. >> and my mother still breaks my life into two chapters and that's when jimmy had a job and then did the writing thing. >> do you know how many lawyers, and you do, obviously. every lawyer you're with, i've
been in law firms, quite a few law firms before, and there's always the guy that says "i'm going to quit this". >> grisham. >> i'll probably have about 15 or 20 e-mails from those guys when i leave this show. >> you did it, though. and 20 books, remarkably successful. >> yep. well, now, actually, i'm counsel to david boyce's law firm. i'm involved in the madoff case, and i get to coach my son's soccer and basketball teams. so great lifestyle. >> i want to talk about "blood money" but first about the moment you decided you were going to take the leap, and obviously not -- especially for people that don't know, you worked at one of the best law firms not only in florida but the east coast. >> right. >> you decided to take that leap. how hard was that? >> tough. i've recently married, our first child, caylee, was born in july of '96 and i tendered my
resignation in september of '96. everybody thought i had flipped my lid. the law firm now no longer exists and i'm now on my 20th novel, so i guess it worked out pretty well. but, you know, it wasn't easy. it took a lot of courage, took a lot of perseverance. i spent a lot of nights and weekends writing a novel that got never published. case of mistaken identity, nearly arrested as a peeping tom. complete mistaken identity and turned that into a story of an innocent man. do what you do as a writer. wrote the story of a guy on death row, hours away from execution for a crime he may not have committed. and that became "the pardon" the first book in the series. and now "blood money" is the 20th novel overall and the 10th in that series. >> amazing. and they all sell remarkably well. let's talk about this one, though. >> yep. >> it's interesting. not quite ripped from the headlines, but it sounds a lot
like casey anthony. >> right. >> but also i guess an oklahoma case, you borrowed. >> i did. a lot of people didn't focus on the aftermath of the casey anthony trial and that's what "blood money" taps into, the outrage, anger, and in some cases threats and violence that ensued after this really unpopular verdict. which sort of reached a fever pitch, 1,000 miles away from the courthouse in oklahoma when a young woman named sammy blackwell who actually does look surprisingly like casey anthony, was followed from a gas station, run off the road. her pickup truck flipped over two-and-a-half times. the woman who ran her off the road came out, not to help her, but to finish her off and sammy survived, only because she had the presence of mind to pretend she was dead. and -- but i think that's -- and there's a larger context to this, obviously. but that was sort of the -- one of the key events that made me
realize, this is news worthy stuff. the kind of stuff that would make an exciting premise for a novel. and that is the premise. >> so what's next? >> you know, i'm probably going to go back to jack switek. he has been my go-to character now for ten novels. i know him really well. and you're going to actually love the next novel, because it's an environmental thriller, sort of based on the -- well, pensacola went through with the whole deepwater horizon spill. and so this is a spill in cuban waters that may affect the florida coast. i like to pick timely events for my novels. it's not really ripped from the headlines, because you can't do that with a novel. >> right. >> i mean, it's too far in advance. you've got -- sometimes it works, predicting what's going to happen. sometimes it doesn't. 17 novels ago, i wrote a novel about the first presidential election in which neither candidate was a white male. reviewers pretty much said great novel, but you're going to really have to spend disbelief and that's not going to happen.
and ten years later, we had hillary versus obama. so, you know, it's fun trying to figure out. you look for these forces in society. they're at work. and then where is it going to culminate. >> all right. thank you, james, for coming. thanks for watching the show. >> my pleasure. my wife is your biggest fan. >> thank her, as well. james grippando, thank you so much. we will be back with more "morning joe" in just a moment. ♪ if loving you is wrong
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♪ good morning. it's 8:00 on the east coast, 5:00 a.m. on the west coast. time to wake up, everyone, as you take a live look at new york city. welcome back to "morning joe." back with us onset, we have richard wolffe, mike barnicle, donny deutsche, and andrea mitchell in washington. let's get to the news now. the white house task force that's examining ways to reduce gun violence is set to deliver a list of proposals to the president by tuesday. vice president joe biden, who has been meeting this week with groups from different sides of the gun control debate, offered a glimpse of what might be in store. >> there is a surprising -- so far -- a surprising recurrence of suggestions that we have
universal background checks. not just close the gun show loophole, but total universal background checks, including private sales. there's also a good deal of talk about gun safety. and what responsibility goes along with gun ownership. i've never quite heard as much talk about the need to do something about high-capacity magazines. as i've heard spontaneously from every group that we've met with so far. there is nothing that has pricked the consciousness of the american people. there is nothing that has gone to the heart of the matter more than the visual image people have of little school kids riddled -- not shot with a stray bullet -- riddled with bullet holes in their classroom.
and i imagine i think we can do a great deal about that in any way without imposing on or impinging on the rights of the second amendment. seems to make sense. biden met yesterday with representatives of the national rifle association, which has added 100,000 new members since the shooting in newtown, connecticut. from the gun lobby's perspective, the meeting did little to bridge differences on the issue. >> it wasn't so much an open-ended, it was a polite, but not -- not a real conversation, two sides stating their positions. and then leaving. so the administration was able to check the box and say they talked to the representatives of firearms owners, and the groups that support the second amendment. and now they were going to try to proceed with what they wanted to do. >> okay. mark mckennan, who was an adviser for bush 43 says the gun
issue is damaging the party and writes, as a republican, i think it's another instance where the party, by refusing to recognize reality, is going to end up looking like the stupid party that fails to adapt and evolve to changing circumstances in our society. on issues where the physics are moving irrevocably forward like immigration and gay rights and guns, the republican party continues to look backward, and backward is a sure path toward irrelevance. i've heard you use the word -- "the stupid party" before. i know mark mckennan, with no labels, is trying to forge a new path for people from both sides of the aisle. having said that, isn't that your concern about the party as well? >> i think that's fascinating. what do you think, donny, the party's brand? >> pretty clear. they've just got to figure out that the definition, first, of a brand, is a value system. is what you stand for. they can stay true to their
values, your value, of being conservative, the classic definition of conservative, without looking like idiots, without looking like they're still living in another century. >> so is the key to have like a core mission? my brand is this. i do this, as whether i sell coke or whether i sell, you know, running shoes. it's kind of like if nike decided that they were going to get into high fashion. that's outside their brand. so do you have a core mission and then the brand -- so for the republicans, it would be like small government. >> rugged individualism. >> less taxes. >> less government, power to the individual. that does not mean that the brand attributes of that are gun magazines with 30 clips in them. extremist, irrelevant views that do not sink in with an evolving demographic. they are an outdated brand. >> the "washington post" editorial board writes that
biden gun task force must not overreach. a warning in part. the white house can show leadership on the related issues of mental health and of violence and entertainment the and video games, but the urgency of action and the deep polarization of our politics means the administration should choose its legislative priorities carefully, aiming for those with broad public support and a reasonable chance of approval. as mr. biden vowed the other day, we're not going to get caught up in the notion that unless we can do everything, we're going to do nothing. it's critically important that we act. and andrea mitchell, i'm just wondering, is there a worry? because everybody -- you talk to chris christie, i've heard from both sides of the aisle from those who do believe there needs to be legislation out of what happened in newtown, that it needs to be threefold, basically. and we know what the three issues are, not just guns. but is there a concern that it will be weighted down in three issues that people will then lock heads over and nothing will get done, or is this different?
>> i think the concern is real, and it should be a deep concern, because what joe biden tele graphed yesterday and what the white house is signaling, they don't think they can do the assault weapon ban and they're not going to try. they're going to deal with the magazines, they're going to talk about background checks, but they're going to try for something they think is possible and reach as broad a possible coalition. and that means that the assault weapon ban legislation that dianne feinstein and others have been pushing on the hill in the senate and you have similar legislation in the house from carolyn mccarthy, that -- they're on their own. but they do not think -- the white house does not think it can achieve that. >> what do you think, joe? >> it's all about counting votes at the end of the day. richard wolffe, do they have the votes? >> it depends for what, right? they've got to take some action. the politics of this is just too difficult for everyone in congress. i mean, democrats have to do something meaningful. republicans have to move off of what has been basically a no position on any type of gun measures. you know, you've got such an
emotional weight. everyone says, well, it's all fading. i don't believe that for a minute. these families are organized, you've got mayor bloomberg's organization behind, as well. very powerful advertising there. this is going to be front and center, as it happens right now. so i think saying no or not doing enough, whatever the enough is defined as, is not acceptable. so they've got to find the votes for something. something beyond just beating up the media, right? the easy thing is to blame it on movies and, oh, it's all -- you know, music we don't particularly listen to. and so, yeah, i think there has to be some measures about these high-capacity ammunition and firearms. but beyond that, the background check thing i think is really interesting. if you look at what public perceptions are of gun laws, they do not match up to the reality. people think there are far more background checks going on than actually take place. and when you have that mismatch, that's where you can actually do stuff in terms of politics.
>> so what do you think, mika? do you think what happened in december on december 14th has staying ability to -- to break through to even the hardest hearts in washington? >> i think we're going to see between now and the next four years from now the republican party struggle for a new voice, and new leaders and new faces. and either some of them have got to get out of the way, because they don't make sense anymore, and they're not in the mainstream, and they're not connected with reality, or they're not going to win again. >> to that point, joe, i want to ask you a question. maybe i'm missing something, if i was running some guy's campaign. if i was running, say, half a dozen states, some crazy, pure, pure red states. if i'm running some guy's campaign, i say to a republican today, guess what, here's the ticket to winning. move over. chris christie, look at him. bobby jindal, look at him. that's the new republican path to winning. so i don't get the formula that,
oh, if you start to loosen on guns, if you start to loosen on immigration, that all of a sudden you're going to lose elections. i see it as the ticket to winning elections today. >> mike, you followed the power of the gun lobby for a long time. can somebody do that? can a republican do that? >> i think a republican can do almost anything on universal background checks. universal background checks is the key. that's the first step. get that in there. almost -- i almost want to say the vice president's task force, okay, next thursday in the house, we're going to have a vote on universal background checks. that's the stepping stone to get us to some sensible position. how can anyone with any common sense, no matter where you are in the ideological spectrum, be against universal background checks. >> and by the way, i've seen some polls that -- like, 85% of americans want universal background checks. >> yeah. >> by a republican pollster. 85% want universal background
checks, which would go a long way in getting rid of some of the insanity that we see at gun shows and online, where there are no background checks. >> and i thought it was interesting that david keen goes to see the vice president, and represents the nra, rather than wayne lapierre, who i think cost the nra a huge, huge percentage of people, who support the nra, obviously. but universal background checks gets the door open and maybe then you can get high-capacity magazine -- >> 75% want that also. so i keep missing the political mine field of why a republican can't move on guns. i'm not seeing it. >> look at the 100,000 new members of the nra, literally. now, of all times, it's just -- it's pretty deep division, andrea mitchell. >> yeah. and i have seen no sign, even though they very smartly did keep wayne lapierre out of the white house meeting, i don't see any sign that the nra is ready to give on the background checks
even, which they ought to. but they have not conceded anything. they feel really empowered by, as mika just pointed out, the new membership, the rise in members. they say rise in money. but it isn't their grass roots membership that really matters. it's the clout they have in washington. and they feel really empowered by this. and guns are, you know, leaping off the shelves, even as the vice president was sitting down with a series of people yesterday, remember what happened at taft high school near bakersfield, california, where it was a student, apparently, with a shotgun that he had gotten from his brother, a legal gun, and injured another student. one student critically. the armed guard at that high school was not on duty, because, by all reports, he was stuck in snow and couldn't get in. and there wasn't a replacement. >> the question to ask, it's just a terrible tragedy that happened out there, as well. but here's a good time to ask the question. what if that shooter had a
bushmaster -- >> exactly. >> instead of a shotgun. how many people would be killed? how many people would be dead today? we would be talking about another newtown. that's the america that some of these -- these members of congress want, where they are bound by special interest groups, extremists and survivalists. if they really believe they need the survivalist vote, they really need -- the only way they can win, get re-elected, is by having the vote in support of people who believe the federal government is coming to kill them and seize their property in 2013. then that is a party that's headed towards extinction. it just is. and mark mckennan was actually absolutely right. peggy noonan wrote about it this morning in her "wall street journal" column. this party is going to have to
start choosing its fights more wisely, richard. if we decide that we're going to fight universal background checks so gang members can go to gun shows and get assault weapons. if we're going to fight all these basic, common sense gun safety measures, most of americans support, then we are a republican party that's headed towards extinction. and all of the screamers and all of the squawkers on talk radio who are going to scream and squawk because they want -- they -- they want to fire up a very small base. they need a very, very small group of people to be successful and drive ad sales for gold bouillon, compared to a republican presidential candidate that has to get 270 electoral votes. >> or even a statewide candidate. but, you know, there is a framework for this. you know, the republican party has traditionally prided itself on being the party of personal responsibility. there is a personal
responsibility frame for these kind of measures. >> that's turning the brand, staying true to the brand value, but turning it. >> which is to say, responsible gun ownership means it's okay to say, yeah, i'm qualified to have a gun, because i'm sane. you know, undergoing background checks, they -- there aren't any greater regulations. in fact, there are lesser regulations than for you and me to own a car. >> can we just break through the bs here? this is not for the nra about second amendment rights. justice scalia clearly laid out, and heller, what second amendment rights were, and what they were not. the most conservative justice on the supreme court. anthony scalia. made it very clear, assault weapons were not protected by the second amendment. this is not about protecting the second amendment. this is about gun manufacturers making millions and millions and millions of dollars. this is about retailers making millions and millions and millions of dollars. do you know how much money these
people have made over the slaughter of 20 innocents in newtown? do you know how much richer these rich gun manufacturers have gotten over the past month, and how the nra uses that tragedy to gen up fears and websites that they're coming to take your guns away? hey, got a message for you. they can't take your against away. coming up next, why secretary of state hillary clinton could also take credit as the secretary of commerce. bloomberg business week explains how she turned the state department into a money machine for u.s. businesses. but first, here's bill karins with a check on the weekend forecast. >> and it's a happy weekend forecast for some with this incredible warmth. other areas not so lucky. winter is returning for the lower 48, especially through the northern rockies in the west. major snowstorm heading out of wyoming, colorado, through the dakotas and montana. rainy this morning in new england. and again, the new england rain
is going to be lighter this afternoon. the heavier rains back towards ohio. detroit getting soaked. columbus to cleveland. eventually pittsburgh will get wet, probably two hours from now. that's light rain. the snow will be heavy tonight, especially through the dakotas, even blizzard warnings through bismarck and fargo. billings some snow. clouds and showers in the areas of i-95 from dc to new york today. same in atlanta. saturday, winter returns to the midwest. look at those temperatures tumbling in denver. of course, the football game there. so that's going to be frigid. minneapolis, too. dallas and san antonio, a chance of storm. and by sunday, still holding on to a very warm day on the east coast. dc near 70. still looking much colder. get ready, chicago, st. louis, all areas there in the midwest. enjoy your warmth while it lasts, because you're going to get frigid, back to the middle of winter continues by sunday. beautiful shot there of st. louis. you're watching "morning joe,"
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>> on facebook. >> the latest issue of "bloomberg business week" is on secretary of state hillary clinton, a fascinating article, in it elizabeth writes, more than her predecessors, clinton has argued that commercial diplomacy long the neglected step child, are central to u.s. strategic interests. and the hectic four years punctuated by one international crisis after another. her work as a spokeswoman for business leaders, american business, less visible, but a part of her legacy, yet may be the most durable. there is no doubt, clinton has had success using personal clout to help a handful of companies close a handful of deals. the question now is whether she has attained her more ambitious goal, reorienting the state department toward business in a way that will allow her successors to continue exerting hillary-style influence long after she has left the building. the article is so fascinating for a couple reasons.
first of all, she sounds like the secretary of commerce. sounds like -- tapped the secretary of commerce on the shoulder and say, hey, listen, you take four years off. but the second thing, we have jeffrey sacks talking over the past decade, american soft power over the globe disappear. in one business meeting after another across the globe where u.s. companies stopped trying to compete. sounds like hillary clinton gave a lot of ceos reason to believe they could compete. >> exactly. this is about hillary clinton negotiating what it means to be secretary of state in a time where the u.s. is arguably more economically powerful than it's ever been. and one of the first thing she and her aides told me, she saw all these foreign heads of state going to bat for their companies. you know, angela merkel taking almost two dozen ceos to china. you know, you can't imagine president obama doing that. so she's looking at this skpag, well, what can i do? i'm a former presidential
candidate, first lady, senator, i'm a superstar. and what can i do? and it turns out she has gone to bat for dozens of companies and helped them seal billions of dollars worth of deals. >> and in so doing, telling american business people, the playing field is not skewed again. so there's been this feeling, as you go across the globe, that the power is moving away from america. the soft power, especially. that it's going to rest with china. or brazil or india or dubai. and, again, this is -- it seems to me, this should be hillary clinton's first job. we're not going to start a world war on -- in europe. but there are battles every day for supremacy economically. >> when you interview these companies, the first thing they'll tell you is that 30 years ago, even 20 years ago, this wasn't an issue for them. and, you know, they'll say, increasingly, the countries that were our customers are now our competitors. and, you know, that is huge. so hillary clinton has said, we're going to put commercial
diplomacy on par with other goals of diplomacy like peace building and dealing with syria. and, you know, she's really -- she's pushing for this trade pact, as well, that's going to create a buffer against china. basically, china gets countries on the -- u.s. companies on a level playing field, which we are slipping. >> hillary clinton customized definition of the office or is this now price of entry as a job description of secretary of state? >> that's a big question, whether kerry is going to take it on during his tenure. you know, hillary clinton is a superstar. so obviously, you know, she goes to countries around the world and people are chasing her. she has huge crowds. people want to meet her. and so she can be pivotal for companies cementing deals in a way that perhaps kerry won't be able to. on the other hand, she's one of the most interesting parts -- researching this story was looking at her legacy as a manager of a 69,000 person global bureaucracy.
and is she has tried to help ambassadors become ceo of embassies. g . >> get off the blocks on this for me, if you would. of the secretary of state is going to russia or china. there are companies in this country that would pay lobbyists millions of dollars if they could get the secretary of state to try and enhance their product overseas. and yet she is doing it, obviously, for nothing. the secretary of state. how does it work? how do these companies gain the attention of the secretary of state, hillary clinton, enough to get the secretary of state to drop it on russia or chinese leaders about boeing or lockheed? how does that happen? >> this is where the washington turf battles come in. actually, ostensibly, this is the job of the commerce department. there has been a program created right after the cold war called commercial advocacy. where major corporations, big companies can like boeing and lockheed, because they were the -- you know, the only company in their market, could
apply to the commerce department and basically get officials to lobby for them and be their corporate cheerleaders for clearance. and you're talking about for government contracts. so if pudin -- these are government officials in other countries making the decisions to buy billions of dollars of airplanes from boeing. so hillary clinton is the one who gets to meet them and that means something. or the secretary of state does. so what clinton has done is she said, well, we're going to try to take some of this portfolio from the commerce department, because we're bigger -- the commerce department has been without a confirmed leader since june, had its own troubles, and see what she can do. so how it gets to her desk is a little bit murky and no one will tell me exactly how and why she chooses what she chooses to advocate for. >> cop come on, the clintons are completely transparent. one of the things that's frustrated me over the past five, ten years, especially, since we have been spending all of this time fighting wars all
across the globe -- well, while we were fighting wars in iraq, china was making strategic business connections with africa, while we were fighting -- we continue to fight in afghanistan. and while we do that, they just sort of circle around, waiting for us to leave, and they're going to exploit the minerals and make all of the money. but it sounds like the secretary of state understood that, as well. and thank god, because you don't hear a lot of policy people talking about it in washington. but she saw china getting a lead in africa. and wanted to counteract that, right? >> one of the things she told me in her interview, she thinks that state-owned enterprises -- she never says chinese, but that's the implication. state-owned enterprises are going to become one of the next big global issues that the u.s. will have to deal with, and we're going to address it in a strategic level. and what that means, essentially, chinese throwing their capital around the world, getting mineral contracts in mongolia, afghanistan, even places where the u.s. defense
department is overseeing the contract. >> yeah. >> china has gotten the contract. >> crazy. >> so -- >> all right. well, thank you so much, elizabeth. >> thank you. >> great to have you here. actually, fantastic story. you can read it in "bloomberg business week." and thanks again for being with us. coming up next, our next guest has been called the master of the short story. well, we call barnicle that. no, we call him the master of something else. the "new york times" recently described his work as the best book all read this year. george saunders, his new collection. keep it here on "morning joe."
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♪ welcome back to "morning joe." george saunders, author of the new book, "tenth of december." mike, i think this man has been called like the greatest writer ever, the smartest dude ever. last night at the green light in brooklyn, he's so huge, the kids love him. like, there were people just stacked out on the sidewalks at a book reading. he, of course, was inside by himself. >> it's as if the beatles -- >> not that much of a genius. should have gone out and talked to the peeps. >> as i told you, the year you finish second, macarthur genius,
george got it. >> it was you. you son of a bitch. i want that trophy. >> they weren't open to the idea. >> you have been compared, obviously -- unbelievable praise for your works. but you've been compared to curt vonnegut. that's a heck of a comparison. great comparison. >> talk about what you have in common. >> well, not much. he was a great, great writer. but i first read his work -- i worked in the oil business when i was young. i was a graduate -- coloradoel school of mines so a degree in geophysics. so i went to sumatra for my first job. >> that's where i went for my first job. it's crazy. >> but we would take a helicopter, and so the job was -- it was four weeks on, two weeks off. so you would load up a big bags of books and i got "slaughterhouse five" one time. and was confused at the time, but then it kind of grew on me.
but he's a great writer. and what i loved about his work and what i tried to get in mine, is just that sense that, you know, a human being can be -- can move towards kindness and literature is one way to get that person to do that. you know, reading, thinking, kind of ritual -- the ritual empathy that fiction is can move us from a stole i had, lazy position to a compassionate role in the world. >> he talked about using different muscles as a writer. and you never knew whether -- you know, whatever work you're talking about. i remember reading "welcome to the monkey house" and just surprise story after story after story. so different. >> and i started out as a geophysicist and he was a scientist also. i think you come at it with a slightly different lens, that you can look at the data, human life, fairly rationally, objectively, and whatever weird conclusions come out of it, you're used to accepting them no
matter what. >> you know, your latest collection, "the tenth of december" somehow caught the eye of the "new york times" magazine last sunday, cover of the "new york times" sunday magazine, richard. george saunders has written the best book you'll read this year. as soon as i saw that headline, i wanted to really hate you, george. >> sound like a true writer. >> a true writer. >> but within -- within the piece, which was a terrific piece to read, you teach a creative writing course at syracuse. and you have six students in the class, five that -- when the reporter was there. how do you teach writing? >> at that level, you don't need to. we get 550 applications a year for six spots. so these kids are already -- they're already great writers. so the interesting work becomes taking a person who is already talented, already dedicated and kind of urging them up into their highest kind of iconic place where the thing that comes out is what only they could have
written. so it's kind of in a way sort of psychological mentorship. we have the three-year program where they don't pay anything and they're actually paid. so we have a lot of time with them. and you can sort of get to see the relation between their work and them as a person. so it's really exciting work. and it's not teaching writing at all. that they have already got. >> do you distinguish at all, you know, richard and i are old print guys. distinguish at all between writing for the moment, with the word yesterday in the piece. tomorrow's paper or tomorrow's website or whatever. and the larger landscape of writing, you know, for the mind. >> we only do the latter, really. we're very focused on the idea that, you know, they're getting a three-year break from the world, and that three years is to go deeper. you know, to kind of -- of course, we emphasize revision and the idea that, you know, a young writer is kind of like -- i always say she is running through the words, a frozen woods on ice skates. and if you're going to have a good create creative writing
program, a pond suddenly appears. she hits that pond and maybe we give her three years of accelerated progress. >> your life, you mentioned several times in your writings, you refer to the absence of money. and your life, which you bring to the page. how important is that? >> very, very important. you know, i had -- i had a really kind of varied life. i worked as a doorman in beverly hills, and a roof and oil work. and so i think the one thing i can kind of bring to a little bit is kind of an embodiment of this terry eaglelton idea that capitalism plunders the body. sometimes it's a great system, but sometimes if you're on the fringe, it's pretty cruel. so like i it a piece a couple years ago for "gq" where i went incognitoo into a homeless camp in fresno. and real eye-opener, especially
for a middle-aged guy whose mind is hardening into his own concepts. to be reminded that it's -- you know, it's a glorious system, but there's also an underside. and that's not pretty and it's cruel and so for me, part of my -- my early life was not hard. it was wonderful. but every so often, because i was an idiot, i would get myself into a financial fix. so i think that sort of opened up those sensors -- says something like, you know, every happy man should have an unhappy man in his closet with a hammer. to remind -- to remind him about his constant happiness and not everyone is happy and sooner or later life will show him its claws. >> thank you so much for being with us. we appreciate it. the book is "tenth of december." george saunders, we really appreciate it. and hope you come back. and the crowd is outside. >> next year, i'll put in a word.
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>> before the bell, cnbc's brian sullivan. brian, what's going on today on wall street? >> well, i tell you what's going on on main street. we've got some big stories on boeing. and i'm going to hit those in just a second. but as far as the main street angle, today is probably the first paycheck that most americans will receive that reflects the new tax code, right? payroll taxes going back up to where they were a couple years ago. you've also got some tax changes at the higher end. so just a reminder to all your viewers out there, just maybe get an adult beverage before you open up your paycheck tonight when it comes in the mail, because it's going to look a little different and smaller than it did before. >> oh, boy. >> yeah. well, that's what i do. bring good news on a friday. boeing. special review from the faa on the 787 dreamliner. they want to investigate the power stps of the jet. this is a big story. the 787 is boeing's new carbon fiber plane, completely new design and engineering from any
plane in history, and it has had its lion's share of problems. the last couple weeks you've had fuel leaks, battery fire issues, now a cracked cockpit window in japan. that out overnight. the faa says, listen, we're going to do a special review of this jet. here's the key, though. they're not shutting the jet down. this is not an airworthiness issue. the jet will continue to fly. but it matters because so many airlines are counting on this jet with its larger fuel range to add new revenue streams for them. and if these problems continue, boeing has already faced a bit of a stock hit. some of the airlines could get hit as well, guys. a big story to continue to watch. american express laying off 5,400 workers, 8% of their work force. >> let me stop you there. yesterday we had more bad news coming out of -- >> morgan stanley. >> morgan stanley -- i almost said jpmorgan. >> it's all of them, really.
>> with all of the cuts there. and now we have cuts with amx? what's going on here? >> well, i think these -- amx not really a bank, but we'll lump them into a financial firm. a lot of these layoffs will come in the travel department, not the investment banking side. ubs, the swiss bank, announce a huge amount of layoffs. banks are realizing, a., they're too big, b., their compensation structure is too high in the current environment. just like everything else in life, the price of stuff goes down, the price of banking services, we know we're trading stocks now for three or four bucks online. the pay structure has completely evolved to the point where these banks are realizing, it's not sustainable. and they're getting smaller. and i know there's -- listen, not a lot of sympathy out there for wall street or the pay or whatever. but these are also men and women losing their jobs. and i'll tell you what is risky is new york city, guys. don't forget that right now one in every five tax dollars for new york city comes from the financial services community.
so while there will be -- listen, a lot of people will be like, well, they've been overpaid for years, whatever. the point is, this could take a hit on new york city, it's not like you're going to eliminate a banker's job and replace that with another job that makes a couple hundred thousand a year. so watch new york city. i'm sure they're not real happy about this, as well. the banks are simply too big, guys. to big to fail, i should say. >> yeah. all right, brian sullivan, thank you so much. we really appreciate it. have a great weekend. when we come back, we're going to preview this weekend's football games with bill karins and then richard wolffe will talk about the real football games when we return on "morning joe." ♪ i'd like to thank eating right, whole grain, multigrain cheerios! mom, are those my jeans? [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios
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>> my grandmother has some drapes like that. an adult in georgia. >> i started it. >> you did start it. >> let's get to this football game. >> no, take it off. >> no, we tried that take it off thing before. it didn't go well. >> okay. >> four games this weekend. let's start with the saturday games. break them down for you, get your predictions from our fearless foursome here. let's go to the first game. peyton manning, i mean, what an amazing story this year it's been the broncos' number-one seed. ray lewis, last game. the prime time game, looks like the game of the weekend. the packers, aaron rodgers at the 49ers, best offense, best defense. >> let's stop and break this down. what do you think of, bill, on the ravens-broncos. >> it's tough to win on the
road. broncos' defense one of the most underrated in the league. flacco, i just don't trust him. >> mike? >> why should i participate after those comments. broncos. >> broncos. it's got to be broncos. all right. we'll wait for real football. >> and the other game, three-point favorite for the 49ers over the packers. >> yeah, i've got to go with the 49ers. >> i love aaron rodgers, but with the 49ers, as well. >> let's bring it to the sunday games. this is where we'll have the one rookie quarterback left. russell wilson and the seahawks traveling to atlanta to face the number-one seeded falcons, awesome at home, but are 0-3 in the playoffs with matt ryan as their quarterback. >> you know, they're my team. they always wilted in playoffs. >> they have no respect. one-point favorites at home. >> you know what, though, they had no respect when they played the giants. we heard new york talk all week about how the giants were going to kill them. maybe this year will be
different. i've got -- >> mike smith is coach. >> what do you think? i know. you don't respect them. >> seattle is on fire. they're playing really, really well. i think it's going to be tough. >> seattle could go all the way, mark. >> i'm going with the seahawks. >> the last game, patriots game, houston -- they rolled on houston about three weeks ago. about nine-point underdogs. houston have any chance? >> no. >> no. >> zip. >> which means, of course -- >> we could have brady -- brady-manning could be an afc championship game. cbs would love it. huge ratings. >> i know. and we've got liverpool playing -- >> manchester united. and without protection. by the way, manchester united, commanding position, liverpool creeping. creeping up the table. >> number eight, could slip into the seventh position. >> your education -- manchester and liverpool, geographically
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